|Publication number||US5383810 A|
|Application number||US 08/033,363|
|Publication date||Jan 24, 1995|
|Filing date||Mar 18, 1993|
|Priority date||Mar 18, 1993|
|Publication number||033363, 08033363, US 5383810 A, US 5383810A, US-A-5383810, US5383810 A, US5383810A|
|Inventors||Dann R. Loving|
|Original Assignee||Loving; Dann R.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (29), Classifications (10), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to remote-control model airplanes. More particularly, it relates to model airplanes structured to resemble the fictitious television Starship EnterpriseŽ but with airfoil-lift structure for flying as a toy with remote control and for use as a vehicle for various full-sized human-portable and human-useable applications of some of its features and embodiments with and without remote control.
Previous structures and graphic representations of the famed fictitious Starship EnterpriseŽ have not been designed for airfoil lift but for a fictional concept of space flight. Consequently, there are no known full-sized or toy vehicles resembling the now legendary Starship EnterpriseŽ which are structured for flying in atmospheric conditions. A major objective of the designers of the EnterpriseŽ appears to have been emphasis of differences between space and atmospheric flight conditions. Consequently, all known structural and artistic renditions of any spaceship bearing any resemblance to the mythical Starship EnterpriseŽ are non-utilitarian or non-functional for achieving atmospheric flight.
A wide variety of model airplanes have been designed and produced to fly with remote control. Construction of model airplanes is so wide-spread and popular that it appears to be an outlet for creative drive. Yet no flying models of spaceships, rather than aircraft, are believed to have been designed or constructed in a manner taught by this invention.
U.S. Pat. No. Des. 260,789 and U.S. Pat. No. Des. 307,923, were both granted to A. G. Probert on Sep. 15, 1981 and on May 15, 1990 respectively for artistic design of the Starship EnterpriseŽ. Both were titled TOY SPACESHIP. Both comprised generally a circular plate section, two side pods and one bottom pod. The latter design was more streamlined, making it more durably appealing or classic because of an impression it conveys of having a more functional shape. But neither had an airfoil-lifting form on any structural component. All forms that could have been altered into lifting surfaces were counterbalanced with negative lift forms. As a result neither of the two Probert designs would provide lift from forward propulsion in an atmosphere.
Popularization of both Probert designs for advertising returns, however, have created a demand potential for a model spacecraft or toy spaceship that fills a seemingly subconscious human compulsion for something that is so realistically different from the fictitious Starship EnterpriseŽ that it can actually fly. It must fill a gap of public need for functional design created by its fictitious predecessor. It must be suggestive of the mythical model and yet so obviously different that its functional utility is readily apparent in order to merit wide public appeal.
Historically, in a similar manner to ways in which models have become realities of full-sized human-useable and human-portable machines and vehicles it is conceivable, foreseeable, anticipated and intended that features and embodiments of this invention are suitable for human transportation and use. It is not intended that this invention be limited to toys and models only.
One object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a model spaceship that can fly in the atmosphere.
Another object is to provide a model spaceship that resembles prior fictitious spaceships but which has differences of each component that provide airfoil lift.
Another object is to provide a model spaceship that has a working airfoil relationship of its major components.
Another object is to provide a model spaceship that has a relationship of flight control and attitude control of its structure and positioning of components.
Another object is to provide a model spaceship with obvious and apparent differences from prior fictitious spaceships.
Another object is to provide a model spaceship with motorized atmospheric propulsion.
Another object is to provide remote control for a model spaceship having motorized atmospheric propulsion.
Yet another object is to provide a propulsion-fan duct and thrust tube as a basic aerospace-vehicle component.
This invention accomplishes the above and other objectives with a remote-control model spaceship having a propulsion duct with tubular ducted fan to which a circular wing is attached at a top-forward position and having a pod wing positioned at each opposite top-side position. The circular wing is supported by a forward strut extended forwardly and upwardly from a top-front portion of the propulsion duct. Each pod wing is supported by a side strut extended sidewardly and upwardly from an intermediate portion of the ducted fan. The pod wings are joined by a horizontal wing that provides lift and horizontal stabilization. Contour of the circular wing, the pod wings, the side struts and the horizontal wing all provide lift. Lateral attitude control is provided by ailerons on the pod wings. An elevator flap for horizontal attitude control is positioned on an aft edge of the horizontal wing. A motor provides rotation of the ducted fan for propulsion. Remote control of the ailerons, elevator and motor are provided by conventional remote controls used for motorized model airplanes.
This invention is described by appended claims in relation to description of a preferred embodiment with reference to the following drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a cutaway side view of an embodiment having a pivotal round-edged wing;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the FIG. 1 illustration;
FIG. 3 is a cutaway top view of the FIG. 1 illustration;
FIG. 4 is a side view of a round-edged wing having a downward-slanting arcuate edge;
FIG. 5 is a side view of a round-edged wing having an upward-slanting arcuate edge;
FIG. 6 is a central cross sectional view of a round-edged wing having a delta extension at an aft edge, a conventional wing-lift structure and a front elevator flap;
FIG. 7 is a top view of the FIG. 6 illustration;
FIG. 8 is a side view of a pod wing with a high-lift structure and having an aft-edge aileron and central battery and/or fuel storage;
FIG. 9 is a top view of the FIG. 8 illustration;
FIG. 10 is a partial cutaway cross-sectional side view of a propulsion duct having a rotational prime mover in rotational relationship to a fan, a flow straightener and pivotal thrust tube with straight walls;
FIG. 11 is a partial cutaway cross-sectional side view of the FIG. 10 illustration with the addition of a reaction engine and with a thrust tube having a venturi throat;
FIG. 12 is a partial cutaway cross-sectional side view of an embodiment having a circular-edged delta wing and a pod wing with top airfoil lift; and
FIG. 13 is a front view of a standard digital proportional radio control system that is used as a remote controller.
Reference is made first to FIG. 1 of figures abbreviated for brevity on the drawings and referenced above as FIGS. 1-13. A propulsion duct 1 is provided with airfoil lift by a circular wing 2, a first pod wing 3, a second pod wing 4, a first side strut 5, a second side strut 6 and a stabilizer wing 7. The circular wing 2 is supported by a forward strut 8 to which the circular-edged wing 2 can be attached pivotally with a wing-pivot rod 9. Wing pivot rod 9 can have a wing axle 10 on which the circular wing 2 can rotate. The wing-pivot rod 9 can be pivoted by a wing-control rod 11 with a wing controller 12. The wing controller 12 can be a remote-controlled servo motor if remote control of attitude of the circular wing 2 is employed. If attitude of the circular-edged wing is desired to be fixed temporarily, an internally-threaded sleeve with oppositely-threaded ends can be screwed onto the wing-control rod 11 at one end and onto a pivotal strut end 13 of the wing-control rod 11. If attitude of the circular wing is desired to be fixed permanently, the wing controller 12 can be omitted. Pivotal attitude of the circular wing 2 is controlled by varying length of the wing-control rod 11 between pivotal attachment of the control rod 11 to the forward strut 8 and the wing pivot rod 9 by means of the wing controller 12. The wing-pivot rod 9 is attached pivotally to the forward strut 8 at wing-pivot axis 14.
Ailerons 15 on sides of pod wings 3 and 4 can be provided with aileron servo motors 16 and aileron-control linkage 17 for horizontal attitude control laterally. An elevator flap 18 can be employed to provide attitude control for climb and descent. For this embodiment, aerodynamic lift is provided with leading edges 19 of pod wings 3 and 4 that are sloped downwardly and rearwardly with an arcuate bottom edge 20. Rearward tilt of the circular wing 2 increases air-flow mass for bottom lift of the pod wings 3 and 4. A pod-wing trailing edge 21 can be contoured variously to eliminate lift as illustrated with equally-slanted top and bottom edges or to provide trailing-edge lift with a downwardly-sloped pod aft end 22 as illustrated with a broken line. Strut flaps 23 can be provided as an alternative or supplementary means for combined elevator and rudder functions as in conventional V-tail practice.
A rotational prime mover 24 rotates a ducted fan 25 inside of an intake end 26 of the propulsion duct 1. Flow straighteners 27 direct airflow axially through the propulsion duct 1 to a thrust tube 28 proximate an outlet end 29 of the propulsion duct 1. The ducted fan 25 can be mounted directly to a fan shaft 30 extended from the prime mover 24 or optionally to gear shaft, depending on the type of rotational prime mover 24 that is employed. The prime mover 24 can be mounted with engine struts 31 extended from the intake end 26 of the propulsion duct 1. Incorporated in an engine strut 31 can be a fuel line, not shown separately, to the prime mover 24. A throttle servo motor 32 can be provided for throttling fuel to the prime mover 24. For some types of prime movers 24, a tuned exhaust system 33 can be employed to direct exhaust from the prime mover 24 into the propulsion duct 1 to utilize all available mass flow and heat for propulsion. The tuned exhaust system 33 can be supported by an exhaust-system support rod 34 extended from the forward strut 8.
Wheels 35 can be suspended from the propulsion duct 1 with landing-gear struts 36. The landing-gear struts 36 can be resilient to withstand shock with minimal material weight.
Referring to FIG. 2, a battery 37 or other power source for operating servo motors and control means is positional in the pod wings 3 and 4 or in other suitable locations.
Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the circular wing 2 can be provided with a wing dome 38 that is relatively low in proportion to overall size of the circular wing 2. In FIGS. 1 and 2, an upwardly-slanted outside edge 39 of the circular wing 2 directs airflow in a vacuum-forming laminar pattern to an aft edge of the dome 38 to provide a double-vacuum lift adjacent to the edge 39 and adjacent to the dome 38. In FIG. 4, a relatively-high proportion of airflow is directed downwardly for bottom lift by a downwardly-slanted outside edge 40 of the circular wing 2. In FIG. 5, a proportionally-slanted leading edge 41 directs approximately three-fourths of the airflow upwardly and the remaining one-fourth downwardly in proportions approximating leading-edge contours of typical aircraft wings. With these alternative structures of the circular wing 2, lift can be achieved in accordance with desired design objectives. With either of these wing structures also, the circular wing 2 can be either freely-rotatable on wing axle 10 or fixed, depending on design objectives.
Referring further to FIG. 3, the thrust tube 28 can be pivotal laterally on thrust-tube pivot means 42. Lateral pivot of the thrust tube 28 provides steering without a rudder or vertical stabilizer. Additional steering can be provided optionally by a rudder or by V-wing flaps such as optional strut flaps 23 on struts 5 and 6.
Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, delta-wing extensions of various proportions and forms 43 can be provided to form a delta-wing 44. The delta wing 44 is a fixed form of the circular wing 2. Contour of the delta wing 44 can be similar to standard laminar-flow wing design and one or more wing flaps 45 can be provided at a wing trailing edge 46. Due to forward positioning of the delta wing 44, the wing flaps 45 can provide both elevation and lateral control. A wing leading edge 47 of the delta wing 44 is contoured preferably with a proportionally-slanted leading edge 41 as described in relation to FIG. 5.
Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, a laminar-lift pod wing 48 can be provided with a proportionally-slanted leading edge 49, a laminar-flow top surface 50, a flat bottom surface 51 and an aileron flap 52 at an aft end. This contour can be employed to maximize airfoil lift of the wing pod 48. A battery 37 or other power pack can be positioned within a section approximating maximum thickness.
Referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, a propulsion duct 1 can be provided with a thrust tube 28 having straight thrust-tube walls 53 as in FIG. 10 or venturi thrust-tube walls 54 as in FIG. 11. Venturi thrust-tube walls 54 allow greater increase in velocity of mass flow aft of an optionally inward-tapered section 55 of the propulsion tube 1. Venturi thrust-tube walls 54 are particularly advantageous when a reaction-propulsion prime mover 56 is employed in the propulsion tube 1. The reaction-propulsion prime mover 56 can be employed independently of, in addition to or as part of a rotational prime mover 24. The reaction-propulsion prime mover 56 can be either air-breathing, liquid-rocket, solid-rocket or a convertible engine. A fuel-storage area 57 can be provided in walls of the propulsion duct 1. Pivotal power for the thrust tube 28 can be provided by motor means such as a thrust-tube servo motor 58 positioned proximate the thrust-tube pivot means 42.
Referring to FIG. 12, a delta-wing embodiment 59 can have a vertically-stabilizing forward strut 66 to which a fixed delta wing 44 is attached. The delta wing 44 can have a wide variety of forms and proportions. An elevator flap 18 on a stabilizer wing 7 can be actuated by a power means such as a stabilizer servo motor 60 having linkage 61 in communication with the elevator flap 18.
Referring to FIGS. 1-13, a model-airplane four-channel digital proportional radio control system can be employed as a controller 65. Lateral-control flaps such as ailerons 15 and aileron flaps 52 can be operated with lateral movement of the right control stick 63. Elevation-control flaps such as elevator flaps 18 can be operated with vertical movement of the right control stick 63. Throttle can be controlled through throttle servo motor 32 with vertical movement of left control stick 62. The thrust tube 28 can be pivoted for a steering effect with lateral movement of right control stick 63. When strut flaps 23 are employed, they are operated with the same control movement as for the thrust tube 28. Thus, the strut flaps 23 and the thrust tube can be employed simultaneously. When the circular-edged wing 2 is made pivotal on wing pivot axis 14 or when wing flaps 45 are employed, either can be made to operate in opposite motion to elevator flaps 18 for control of elevating attitude, such that up to seven servo systems can be operated with four radio-wave channels. The wing flaps 45 can be employed alternatively as ailerons in place of or in conjunction with aileron flaps 52.
Control sticks 62 and 63 can be wired to control different servo motors and control elements as may be desired for particular use-conditions by particular individuals. Either control arrangement can be employed for operation of a model or for a full-sized unit. Thus, a wide selection of controls and control combinations are available.
Radio waves are transmitted through antenna 64 to respective servo motors 12, 16, 32, 58 and 60. Additional and alternative servo motors can be provided for the variety of control features made possible.
A new and useful model spaceship having been described, all such modifications, adaptations, substitutions of equivalents, combinations of components, applications and forms thereof as described by the following claims are included in this invention.
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|U.S. Classification||446/57, 446/60, 244/12.2, 446/456|
|International Classification||A63H27/26, A63H33/42|
|Cooperative Classification||A63H33/425, A63H27/12|
|European Classification||A63H27/12, A63H33/42S|
|Aug 18, 1998||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 24, 1999||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Apr 6, 1999||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19990124